Illawarra Stingrays weapon Caitlin Cooper’s hard work has paid off after she earned a recall to the Matildas squad for the Tournament of Nations later this month.
Cooper, who has been playing outstandingly in the NSW National Premier League Women’s 1, was named in the 21-player squad for the three game tournament.
The 29-year-old missed out on selection for last year’s Rio Olympics or the Algarve Cup earlier this year.
Shellharbour’s Michelle Heyman will miss the tour through injury but, fellow South Coast star Caitlin Foord will play in matches against USA, Japan and Brazil in America.
Foord has been playing in Japan with Vegalta Sendai and is one of 11 overseas based players in coach Alen Stajcic’s squad.
“We monitor the overseas based players daily and have contact with them weekly, so we keep tabs on them pretty closely and make sure the communication lines are always open between us and them,” Stajcic said.
“Sam [Kerr’s] exploits over in the NWSL this season are a great confidence booster for the team. We’ve got a lot of players plying their trade overseas and doing really well. Tameka Butt and Emily Gielnik have been two of the leading scorers in Norway, the players in America are doing really well, Caitlin Foord and Katrina Gorry have been performing well in Japan, but the main thing is that we’ve got a lot of players playing and in good form.”
The Matildas play the US on July 27 before meeting Japan (July 30) and Brazil (August 3).